“President Obama’s largest legislative accomplishment to date was the passage of the health care reform law, which has been going into effect in stages, with regulations currently being written for the most substantial changes due to take effect in 2014. So it is odd the President mentioned health care only briefly, and in passing, in his State of the Union address last night. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the law remains deeply unpopular with a skeptical public, or the fact that despite some provisions ‘to increase coverage’ have already gone into effect, the percentage of American adults without health coverage has increased to an all-time high of over 17%.”

“Nineteen rural state hospital associations have signed onto a letter urging President Obama to nix the healthcare reform law’s special deal for Massachusetts hospitals in his 2013 budget proposal next month. The hospital groups say a provision in the law shifts $367 million annually in Medicare funding from 49 states to the Democratic-led commonwealth. The provision’s aim was simply to increase Medicare payments for a single, 15-bed hospital in Nantucket but ended up raising payment rates for the state’s 60 urban hospitals by 8 percent.”

“Because, even if one were to accept the White House’s accounting (which one shouldn’t), that would mean that 22 states — roughly 40 percent of the country — are not ‘on their way’ toward erecting the Obamacare exchanges. Isn’t that a problem? Further, upon closer inspection, it’s clear that many of the 28 states that are supposedly ‘on their way’ really aren’t ‘on their way.’ That’s just comical White House spin, in which the truly inconsequential — the acceptance of minor federal grant money, or the setting up of a committee to “study” the question — is elevated into a sure sign that Obamacare is a fait accompli. It’s ridiculous.”

“As a result, all but a few employers will be forced to purchase coverage for contraception, abortion drugs and sterilization services even when they seriously object to them. All who share the cost of health plans that include such services will be forced to pay for them as well. Surely it violates freedom of religion to force religious ministries and citizens to buy health coverage to which they object as a matter of conscience and religious principle.”

“Two polls came out last week showing that among two groups deeply entwined with the US healthcare system; there is serious concern over President Obama’s health reform law. Along with previously released Kaiser Family Foundation polling data that showed eroding support among the general public, there is new data that small business owners and physicians are growing quite skeptical about the Affordable Care Act (ACA).”

“A funny thing happened on the way to the so-called health reform promised in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care
Act (PPACA), signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010: Although the cost of health care has increased at a slower rate than in previous years, premiums for health insurance and the share of premiums used for purposes other than paying claims have been increasing faster than in previous years. That’s not exactly what President Obama promised, is it?”